Can Am, Granby and Malta 27th June 2024 BLOG

Can Am, Granby and Malta (27th of June 2024  BLOG)

After the recent heat-wave things cooled down enough for a leisurely drive to the Can Am Speedway on Friday the 21st of June.

I left home in Cornwall, Ontario , earlier than usual with the intention of stopping off at a few places along the way and enjoying the nice day .

I crossed into the U.S  at my local Cornwall border point at midday and took Hwy 37 beside the St Lawrence Seaway  .

I spotted a lovely old Studebaker Hawk for sale at a garage, so had to stop and take a look.

I’ve always liked Studebakers

After stopping  for lunch near Morristown, I continued on to Clayton NY, where I parked up by the waterfront and enjoyed an ice cream.

Eventually I reached the track at my normal time ,  just after 4-00 pm.

It was a regular night for Modifieds , Sportsman, Limited Sportsman , Thunder Stocks  (Mini Stocks) and Sprint Cars.

First I took my hot lap pictures from the pit entry lane, before moving onto the middle.



After the intermission , it was feature time.

First up was the Limited Sportsman.

This was dominated from start to finish by Genavieve Bartlett.

This was her career ‘first’ win

She’s the daughter of Tyler and Michelle Bartlett, the Can Am Speedway promoters.

Next up was the Thunder Stocks .

This was won by Anthony St Mary Jr.

The Modified feature was next

RJ Tressider made the early running in this one, staying up front until five laps to go, when Lance Willix edged passed,  shortly followed by Tim Fuller.

Willix stayed in front , as the laps were running out for Fuller to make a Challenge.

The final race for me was the Sportsman Feature.

It looked like Kingston, Ontario’s Xavier Andrews might take this one, but a couple of late cautions  allowed the field to bunch up.

Tyler Corcoran , got passed and stayed there to the checkers.

The Sprint Cars were the last race of the night, (and me not being a fan) ,  I took advantage of an early get away, and was soon heading back up the I 81to Canada.

Home before mid night , perfect !

After more than a week of heat wave conditions , the issue now,  was the rain.

Plenty of it was forecast for most of the North East. My two local Saturday night tracks, both cancelled early.

Brockville Ontario Speedway in the morning and then the Mohawk International Raceway,  just after mid day.

There was one ray of hope.

Autodrome Granby were having a rare Saturday show, as part of their two day ‘Quebec Cup’ weekend.

They had a few sprinkles of rain during their Friday night segment but got all the races in (David Hebert won the Modifieds) .

Heavier rain was expected for late on Saturday , so they announced  an earlier start time and cancelled the ‘gimmicky’ pit stop challenge that was scheduled.

Once I got the news that the M.I.R was off, I jumped in the car and headed for Granby.

Normally the drive to Granby on a regular Friday night, can be a nightmare , with all the congestion on Autoroute 30.

Well, Saturday was different  as no one was rushing out of Montreal for the weekend, So it turned out to be  a lovely relaxing journey.

I got to the track in plenty of time, and long before the updated earlier start time.

No rain, that was a bonus ! 

As planned , things got underway a bit earlier than they originally scheduled .

There  was a lot going on that night, and in addition to the four divisions on the regular track , the inner oval was being used by the Sling Shots.

The first feature was for the Sport Compact (Ministocks).

This was won by Mathieu Voghel

Before we got around to having the main event, the Mod Lite Feature and the first of the two Sportsman Features took place , Yes there were two features  for them on the program

I watched the Sportsman event but took ‘time out’ while the Mod Lites were on . This race gave Elliot Gamache a win .

The Modified Feature looked like it would be yet another run away victory for track expert, David Hebert, but not tonight.

I didn’t see what happened, but apparently , during the first sector of the race an incident occurred ,  which resulted in him being  sent to the rear.

The cars that had been close to the front , took advantage , and a good battle for the lead emerged.

At the checkers it was Francois  Bernier.

Michael Parent was second and Samuel Charland was third.

The second of the Sportsman features followed. I chose to miss this and make a quick exit.

It was now , just after 10-00 pm, and with no hold ups , I was back home in Cornwall, by 12-15 .

The nearer I got to home,  it become evident that the forecasted rain had definitely taken place.

A lot more rain was expected for Sunday, so it was no surprise when I saw  the notification that the evenings races at the Cornwall Motor Speedway had been cancelled.

Hopefully the North East would be blessed with better weather by Tuesday.

One of the races  I’d been looking forward to , was happening that night at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway at Malta, New York .

They were staging a memorial race to former media man,  Don Davies, which was going to be part of the Super DirtCar Series.

I’d booked my usual hotel a week before, and luckily Mother Nature was nice, so there was no need for me to cancel.

Don Simpson joined me on this trip and we left Cornwall at 9-00 am on Tuesday morning. 

We were soon in the USA and heading for the I 87  at Plattsburgh.

After stopping at the Golden Coral at Queensbury for lunch , we were checking in to the Roosevelt Inn & Suites (Malta NY )  at 2-00 pm.

It’s only a five minute drive to the speedway, so we had plenty of time to chill out before heading to the track .

We weren’t the only race goers staying there. My friends Alex and Helen Bruce from St Cathrines , Ontario were also there (Alex is also a race track photographer.)

Once at the track we signed in at the media booth , where Jo Ann Davies met us with her usual cheerful smile.

I’ve known Jo Ann and her late husband Don, for many years, and todays event was to honor him.


I wanted to take get a picture of her at work in the booth , but she was too shy.

It was a warm and sunny afternoon, so I tried to conserve my energy , by keeping in the shade and drinking  plenty of iced water.

Once the action began , I stationed my self in my favorite spot for  Hot Laps.

It’s high up on one of the V.I.P lodges on turn three and four.

While there I met Chris Reome , one of the A-S track staff, what a nice guy he is, we had a long and interesting chat.

Once the Hot Laps were over, I had time in hand to visit the pits and catch up with an old buddy of mine.

That’s Pro Stocker Rob Yetman, who only made the occasional appearances last year , but for 2024, he’s back and running weekly at  the A-S.

I then moved on to the infield.

During the singing of the star spangled banner, a rider on horseback came out waving the flag,

I loved this, it was a great touch, and something I’ve never seen happen before  in all my years around the auto racing tracks.

There were over 40 Big Block Mods in attendance as well plenty of Sportsman and the Pro Stocks.

The first feature was for the Pro Stocks.

Rob (Yetman) looked good for a second place in this one until a couple of late cautions bundled up the pack.

He lost a few places then got involved in a wreck.

Winner was Beau Ballard

Up next were the Modified Consis , which were followed by the first of the two Sportsman Features.

Winner was Tim Hartman Jr

After a short break, it was ‘Show Time’ as the Big Block Modifieds entered the track for the Super DirtCar Series, 76 lapper.

I have to be honest here , and give you my opinion,  If you disagree with me that’s OK.

Instead of it being a regular race, for some reason it was decided to stop it after40 laps (and from what I understand,  maybe I’m wrong) there was a redraw and an invert for the leaders.

Well up until this ‘pause’ we had a great race going on.

Young Alex Yankowski had worked his way past some of the leading contenders (Matt Sheppard and Mat Williamson) to build up a good lead.

Then the race was paused and the shuffle of positions took place

On the restart Yankowski was moved back down the grid a few places.

Sorry folks , I can’t see the point  of this kind of thing, and in my opinion it ruined  a good race.

Yes anything  could of happened, in those remaining laps, but you can’t help feeling that the young guy was potentially ‘robbed’.

OK , so I’m off my ‘soap box’ and I’ll get back to the race.

Mat Williamson dominated the restart , and was challenged towards the end by Stewart Friesen .

I’m a friend of Mat, and pleased for his win, but would of rather seen him do it in a normal un interrupted race format.

Alex Yankowski continued to impress and completed the podium with a third place.

The evening ended with the second feature for the Sportsman.

This was won by Chris Crane Jr, and it was all done before 11-00 pm.

Another enjoyable night was had at the Albany Saratoga Speedway

Don and I , then made our exit for the short drive to the hotel.

After leaving Malta just before 8-00 am in morning , and stopping for  breakfast in Plattsburgh, we were back in Cornwall around lunch time.

Well , that’s all folks until my next little adventure.

Before I sign off  , I have some sad news to report.

R.I.P.  Dale Planck

Shortly after arriving at Autodrome Granby on Saturday afternoon I learned the sad news that Dale Planck , one of my oldest friends in  Dirt racing had passed away.

Since I got involved in race track photography 20 years ago Dale had been one of my most photographed drivers.

Over the years I got to know him and his family well.

His wife Leslie and their two sons Brandon and Steve . 

My thoughts and sympathy go out to all of them at this difficult time.

It was a pleasure to have called you my friend

R.I.P buddy 



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